The Germany play-maker has endured a mixed first campaign with the Gunners after moving from Real Madrid last summer. He hit the ground running but faded in the second half of the season before picking up a hamstring injury last month.
However, Mertesacker believes that the midfielder was always going to require time to adapt to the rigorous nature of the Premier League.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
It’s very important to understand the differences between the leagues.
Mesut came from La Liga and it’s quite difficult to play there. I think he has adapted well but there is more to come from him. I think the second season will be much better for him because he’s a fantastic player.
He has shown some great skills but he needs to be more consistent, which makes a difference at the end. Sometimes it’s good to get criticism with the negative points… if you are intelligent enough, and he is an intelligent footballer. I think he will sort that problem out.
It’s similar to myself when I got my injury in the second part of my [first] season, and after I came back even stronger because then I realised what is at stake.
I think for Mesut it was good to get a little rest to be ready for the last few games for us, then the World Cup and then another season. I think with a pre-season ahead of him, there’s more to come from him.
The 25 year old started his career at the North London club in superb fashion, but after a breathtaking first few games at the club, he hit a poor run of form. He has shone on occasion over the past few months, but his level of play has not exactly resembled the man who helped lead Real Madrid to a La Liga title 2 years ago. He has faded in and out of games, misplaced passes, and occasionally looked disinterested and lazy.
Ozil possess all the traits necessary to thrive in the attacking midfield role and has proved his worth countless times in the past. He has unrivalled vision, enabling him to spot near invisible channels and executing his passes with pin-point precision. His positional sense is excellent, and his unpredictable movement creates vast amounts of space for his teammates to operate. Not many players are blessed with the attacking prowess he possesses, and he has displayed hints of that since his move last September.
One reason why Ozil has yet to hit his peak is due to his need to adapt to England, as the Premier League is universally known as an incredibly tough league for new players to become acclimated to. He has shown glimpses of his brilliance many times during his spell at Arsenal, but he likely needs a year to adapt before he will be able to do so consistently. His form has not been great, but the best of Ozil is yet to come.
Can Ozil get back to his best next season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.